Health-care pur­chas­ing group reaches mile­stone

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY JULIE COLLINS

NORTH SYD­NEY — Nova Sco­tian Health Care Pur­chas­ing Lim­ited’s cu­mu­la­tive re­fund to Nova Sco­tia health-care fa­cil­i­ties since its found­ing in 1997 has passed the $2-mil­lion mark.

The re­fund for the 2008-09 fis­cal year alone was $248,000.

The an­nounce­ment co­in­cided with the com­pany’s re­cent an­nual gen­eral meet­ing. Nova Sco­tian Health Care Pur­chas­ing Ltd. is a not-for-profit group pur­chas­ing com­pany based at the North­side Gen­eral Hospi­tal in North Syd­ney.

Nova Sco­tian Health Care Pur­chas­ing, which doesn’t re­ceive any gov­ern­ment fund­ing, pro­vides group pur­chas­ing ser­vices to more than 100 mem­ber health-care fa­cil­i­ties in Nova Sco­tia. Mem­bers in­clude hos­pi­tals, nurs­ing homes, homes for the aged, res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­i­ties and youth fa­cil­i­ties.

“ We are very ex­cited about this re­fund mile­stone. This model has been very suc­cess­ful,” said Leonard MacEachern, chair of Nova Sco­tian Health Care Pur­chas­ing Ltd. “This pro­gram demon­strates that group pur­chas­ing in a co­op­er­a­tive en­vi­ron­ment works. Our mem­bers, clients and food sup­pli­ers all ben­e­fit from this ap­proach. The group pur­chas­ing model for food pur­chas­ing helps health-care fa­cil­i­ties ne­go­ti­ate and ob­tain the best pos­si­ble com­bi­na­tion of price and qual­ity for their food re­quire­ments. The re­funds are reg­u­larly

We are very ex­cited about this re­fund mile­stone. This model has been

very suc­cess­ful.

Leonard MacEachern, chair, Nova Sco­tia Health Care Pur­chas­ing Ltd.

rein­vested by mem­ber fa­cil­i­ties to re­duce the cost of their op­er­a­tions.”

Char­lie MacLean, man­ager of the group’s food and nutri­tion pro­gram, com­pared the group to a co­op­er­a­tive.

“ This pur­chas­ing pro­gram saves fa­cil­i­ties such as hos­pi­tals and nurs­ing homes from hav­ing to do their own ten­der­ing and is also a time-saver,” MacLean said. “My job is to make the sys­tem work — to do the ten­der­ing and look af­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion. I’m an em­ployee of the health care district on loan to the com­pany, which is a com­mon prac­tice.”

MacLean said price is a fac­tor, but he doesn’t al­ways look for the cheapest prod­uct.

“ When we are try­ing to de­cide what is the best prod­uct, we look at con­sis­tency, qual­ity, ser­vice and a fair price,” he said. “ We op­er­ate very qui­etly be­hind the scenes, but this was an im­por­tant mile­stone and we’re proud of it; it’s worth cel­e­brat­ing.”

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